Constanza Extends Streak To 17, Graham Wins 9th, Drury Stays Hot, And Sims Debuts For Danville In Saturday's Atlanta Braves Minor League Action

JR Graham picked up his ninth win with 4 shutout innings.

Jose Constanza extended his hitting streak to 17 games, Brent Leach followed a rain delay by tossing 6 shutout innings, JR Graham picked up his ninth win of the year, Brandon Drury continued his hot hitting, and Lucas Sims shined in his debut for Danville.

Gwinnett Braves 8, Louisville Bats 10

Julio Teheran didn't have the best start, allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, over 6.2 innings, but it was much better than his last time out, when he allowed 7 earned runs over 5 innings. Still, he's struggled of late, allowing 21 earned runs in 17.1 innings over his last 4 starts. Ernesto Mejia doubled and hit his 18th homer of the season, and in the month of July he's hitting .293 with a .887 OPS, 2 doubles, 3 homers, and 8 RBI. Jose Constanza had a 3 hit night to extend his Gwinnett record hitting streak to 16 games. During the streak, he's gone 31-76 with 4 doubles and 3 RBI, raising his batting average from .284 to an International League leading .321. Felix Pie drove in 3 runs, and over his last 3 games he's gone 5-12 with a walk. After going 5-24 in 7 games with Mississippi, Jordan Parraz returned to the G-Braves with a 2 double night. Jose Yepez hit his third homer of the year, and over his last 10 games he's hitting .400 with a 1.133 OPS, 3 doubles, 2 homers, and 5 RBI.

Jose Lugo will start the series finale Sunday evening.

Mississippi Braves 0, Chattanooga Lookouts 3

  • Todd Cunningham CF 1-3, BB, SB (13), .311 AVG
  • Sean Gilmartin 1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.47 ERA
  • Brent Leach 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1.59 ERA
  • Cory Rasmus 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 3.58 ERA

Sean Gilmartin pitched just 1 inning before the game was suspended due to rain. When play resumed, Brent Leach, who tossed 4.1 scoreless innings in a start his last time out, took over, and struck out 4 over 6 scoreless innings. Leach now has 12 scoreless innings over his last 3 appearances. Cory Rasmus tossed a scoreless inning, and over his last 4 appearances he's struck out 6 in 6 scoreless innings. Todd Cunningham reached base twice tonight, and over his last 3 games he's gone 5-13.

Gary Moran will face the Lookouts tomorrow.

Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Salem Red Sox 0

  • Chris Garcia DH 1-2, 2 BB, .303 AVG
  • Edward Salcedo 3B 1-3, BB, .274 AVG
  • JR Graham 5 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W (9), 2.63 ERA
  • Mike Lee 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Blaine Sims 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 3.97 ERA
  • Ian Marshall 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K, SV (1), 11.25 ERA

For the second straight night, the Hillcats beat the Red Sox 1-0, with the lone run coming off a Emerson Landoni sacrifice fly. JR Graham picked up his ninth win of the year, striking out 6 over 5 shutout innings. In his last 2 starts, he's allowed just 1 earned run over 10 innings. Graham is currently second in the league with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP, but the league leader, Myrtle Beach's Cody Buckel, with a 1.31 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, was promoted to AA last month. Mike Lee, who pitched for Salem in 2010, made his debut with the Atlanta organization, tossing 2 shutout innings. The 6'7", 25 year old right hander was an eighth round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2008, but they released him earlier this season. Over his last 8 appearances, Blaine Sims has allowed 1 earned run and struck out 11 over 12 innings. Chris Garcia reached base 3 times tonight, and over his last 10 games he's hit .361 with a 1.061 OPS, 2 doubles, 2 homers, and 10 RBI. Edward Salcedo reached base twice tonight, continuing a hot July that's seen him hit .412 with a 1.206 OPS, 4 doubles, 2 homers, and 7 RBI in 9 games.

Lynchburg is off on Monday before beginning a series against the Potomac Nationals on Monday, with Aaron Northcraft scheduled to start.

Rome Braves 2, Asheville Tourists 8

  • Ross Heffley 2B 2-4, 3B, SB (2), .274 AVG
  • Brandon Drury 1B 1-3, 2B, .212 AVG
  • Ryan Weber 6 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 5.88 ERA

After allowing 10 earned runs in 4.2 innings in his last start, Ryan Weber picked up his second straight loss tonight by allowing 5 earned runs in 6 innings. Brandon Drury hit a double tonight, continuing his second half resurgence. After hitting .187 with a .495 OPS in 241 at bats in the first half, the 19 year old has hit .321 with a 1.045 OPS in 56 second half at bats. Ross Heffley had a pair of hits, including the first triple of his career, and after hitting .235 with a .500 OPS in 34 at bats in June, he's hitting .308 with a .804 OPS in 39 at bats in July.

Rome will face Asheville tomorrow.

Danville Braves 2, Pulaski Mariners 1

  • Ronald Luna SS 2-4, 2B, .373 AVG
  • Josh Elander C 2-3, RBI, BB, E (2), .295 AVG
  • Lucas Sims 2.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Rafael Briceno 3.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W (2), 6.75 ERA
  • Zach Jadofsky 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 0.87 ERA
  • Jeremy Fitzgerald 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K, SV (1), 2.00 ERA

Lucas Sims made his first start for Danville, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings before reaching his pitch count. The 18 year old righty, taken 21st overall in the draft this year, has allowed 1 earned run, 4 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 12 in 9.1 innings over 4 professional appearances. Moving to the bullpen might have been just what Rafael Briceno needed to turn his season around, as he's now thrown 5.1 scoreless innings in 2 relief appearances for the D-Braves. Jeremy Fitzgerald struck out 4 over 2 scoreless innings, picking up the first save of his career. The 21st round draft pick now has 13 strikeouts in 9 innings. Ronald Luna had a pair of hits, including a double, and over his last 9 games, the 19 year old Colombian is hitting .472 with a 1.000 OPS. Josh Elander reached base 3 times tonight, and over his last 10 games, he's hitting .308 with a .899 OPS, 3 doubles, a triple, a homer, and 4 RBI.

Ernesto Silva will face Pulaski tomorrow.

GCL Braves 3, GCL Phillies 1

  • Connor Lien RF 1-4, BB, .265 AVG
  • Tyler Tewell DH 1-4, RBI, BB, .294 AVG
  • Joey Menses LF 2-5, .246 AVG
  • Andry Ubiera 4 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 2.86 ERA
  • Christian Barczykowski 1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 4.91 ERA
  • Elvin Garcia 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 6.52 ERA
  • Richie Tate 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K, SV (3), 0.00 ERA

Connor Lien reached twice today, and in his last 5 games, this year's 12 round pick has gone 7-18 with a double, 3 RBI, and 2 walks. Tyler Tewell also reached base twice, and the 20 year old, picked in the 14th round, extended his hitting streak to 5 games, making him 5-15 with a double, 5 RBI, and a walk in that span. Andry Ubiera had a nice start, striking out 4 over 4 scoreless innings. The 19 year old Dominican righty has a 2.86 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and 22 strikeouts in 22 innings. Richie Tate picked up his third save with a scoreless inning, giving him 17.1 scoreless innings over 7 appearances this year.

The GCL Braves are off on Sunday before taking on the Pirates Monday.

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